29.7.14

Dutch Jamie Mag 25th Issue and The Role of Foodie Mags



The Dutch version of the Jamie mag is celebrating its 25th issue this month. Which is a fantastic accomplishment in a market that is not just over-saturated on the magazine front but a market that is also competing with the behemoth that is the foodie web. One of the reasons why 'Jamie' is succeeding is because it fully embraces the online foodie community. A magazine nowadays is nothing if it doesn't also have a great website and online presence.

Both the Dutch language version and the English Jamie magazine website do a great job cultivating that presence. I often find myself looking for recipes by particular authors online even though I have the books/magazines lying around somewhere. Furthermore some magazines make the mistake of using their website only as an announcement page for the content of the physical mag but 'Jamie' actively works to strengthen their online community by having guest bloggers and a deep integration with social media.

But this anniversary did get me thinking about the significance of food magazines in a world where there are millions of recipes at our finger tips catering to our every whims. On top of that magazines also compete with cookery books for our attention. You can take my Ottolenghi books from my cold dead hands but I have given up on keeping food mags around for more than one, maybe two months. A good book means you can open any page, cook what is there and be completely confident it will be absolutely delicious. Magazines have to walk a tightrope between the quick, flashy and sheer volume of internet content and the qualitatively meticulous and well thought out balance of good cookery books.



Jamie Oliver with the Dutch editor Suzanne Pronk


Yet despite all the challenges the foodie mag is far from dead. I don't know a food blogger who wouldn't love to write for an actual magazine (including me). And even a mediocre issue still tends to be better than a horrible book (and everyone has at least a couple of them lying on a shelve somewhere). I know I will continue reading them, be it because I know the content will be good or simply as an impulse buy at the check out. 

Do you still buy food mags? Let me know in the comments


Full disclosure: I might be receiving a goodie bag for mentioning Jamie magazine's 25th issue. 


18.7.14

In The Jar Basil Mayo



Making mayo with a stick blender might be considered a bit of a cheat. But it does make life a whole lot easier and it also allows you to make your mayo straight in the jar, sparing the dishwasher. Making your own also allows you to have fun with the flavours. A handful of basil and a clove of garlic make this pale green mayo a perfect accompaniment to fish and a lovely addition to a tomato salad/sandwich. Besides a stick blender you will need a clean jar that can accommodate said stick blender. The jar I am using is perhaps even a little bit too large.

9.7.14

Grow Your Own Individual Cress Portions


Cress, or micro greens if you're being fancy, are a great way to spice up a sandwich or salad. From the traditional egg and cress or my new favourite of rocket cress on a cheese sandwich, cress can pack a real punch. On top of that micro greens are terribly easy to grow. Spread them thickly on wet cotton wool, keep moist, and within a couple of days the sprouts are ready to harvest.

16.5.14

Emmer Flour Pancakes With Brie



Ancient grains are everywhere now. There is even a shortage of spelt flour threatening the supply. Emmer, or farro, is another ancient grain that is gaining popularity. And while it is often a bit tricky to make breads with these flours because of their lower gluten content, there are many other ways to use them. Emmer's pleasant nuttiness lends itself particularly well to a savoury and sweet pancake. Though the combination of melting brie, pancake, and sweet treacle is good enough to make with any flour you have available.

25.4.14

Crystallized Violets





Chances are that you bought some violets to have some flowers in early spring. Violets are real troopers and will still be flowering abundantly. Because by now they will have had several waves of flower, the flowers will now be completely free of pesticides, no matter where you bought them from. Which means you can eat them raw in salads, or do what I did and crystallize some for a wonderfully twee cupcake decoration.

There are two main species of violet that are suitable for this, viola odorata or viola tricolor. The odorata has the most violet flavour and the tricolor comes in most colourful variations. Crystallizing such delicate flowers is a somewhat fiddly job, but the results are worth it.